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New Hearing In Steven Avery Case Requested: Evidence To Be Retested

The state of Wisconsin has asked for a new hearing to be set in the Steven Avery case according to documents filed this week. Avery’s lawyer Kathleen Zellner had previously requested modern testing be carried out on forensic evidence used against the star of Netflix show Making A Murderer. This week’s letter from Assistant Attorney General Thomas Fallon asks for a status conference to be scheduled by the end of the year, while the state begins to gather all of the items Zellner filed in her motion.

Zellner hopes they will be able to carry out "testing of items that were previously tested with new DNA methods," covering body identification and the alleged discovery of Avery's blood and DNA. She believes Avery who was convicted in the 2005 murder of auto photographer Theresa Halbach is innocent, and that retesting the evidence will prove it.

"The most reassuring thing is that we are going to get to the bottom of who killed Teresa Halbach. And we firmly believe that we will establish it was not Steven Avery," says the attorney who specializes in overturning wrongful convictions.

Avery was wrongly convicted in 1985 for sexual assault and exonerated 18 years later due to DNA evidence. Two years later while he was suing the Manitowoc County for $36 million in damages, he and nephew Brendan Dassey were charged and later convicted with the murder of Halbach. Her vehicle, remains and personal items were found around the family salvage yard, along with a bullet fragment that contained her DNA.

Although Avery remains behind bars his alleged accomplice Dassey is now free, after a judge ruled in August that his confession as a 16 year old had been coerced. This has obviously added fuel to the free Avery campaign, however it has no direct impact because Dassey's testimony was not used at his trial. The key to freeing Avery is forensics.

Fans of the Netflix show will remember the suggestion by his lawyers during the trial that blood recovered from Halbach's vehicle was planted by police from a vial collected from his first case. The theory that it was removed by a needle because of a hole in the stopper was soon dismissed (because the hole was made to put the blood in), however EDTA testing could not prove either way whether the blood at the scene had come from the vial. Zellner wants to use modern radiocarbon testing to conclusively answer this question, as the technique can in theory date the blood accurately.

Zellner also claims to have evidence that Halbach's car was actually discovered two days before it was found at the Salvage yard and believes it was planted as part of the stitch-up job.

The upcoming status conference will be held on the weeks of Oct 24, 31, or Nov. 7. There is still a long road ahead for Avery and his supporters.

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